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Golden spiced snapper and scallops with citrus and pomegranate salad - Sat, 10th Jan 2009
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What to do with a big fish? As long as you have a big enough frying pan (or a barbeque) this is a simple but delicious adaptation of a Greg Malouf classic. A not-so-baby snapper will serve about 6 as an entree, or 3-4 as a main. Allow about 2-3 scallops per person. If you can get blood oranges, by all means substitute those for the ordinary ones

  1 baby snapper About a dozen scallops, roe attached
  2 oranges 1 or 2 ruby grapfruit
  2 lemons 1 lime
  Seeds (fruit) of one pomegranate Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  Fresh parsely, mint, coriander 2 parts ground coriander
  2 parts ground cumin 1 parts tumeric
  1 parts ground ginger dash of ground chilli
  1/2 a purple onion, very finely diced 1-2 tbsp rice flour
  Olive oil  

Begin by mixing the spices. For an average sized baby snapper, use about 2 tsp ground coriander, in proportion for the cumin, tumeric, ginger and chilli. Also add a generous amount of salt (about a tsp) and pepper (1/2 tsp). Mix well, then add the rice flour and combine thoroughly. Prepare the salad (this is the time consuming bit!):

For the oranges, grapefruit, one of the lemons and the lime, you will need to prepare as follows. Cut into segments before running a knife between the outer skin and the flesh, so as to remove not only the outer skin, but also the inner skin and pith. Each natural segment will have a very thin skin around it. Remove this skin using a very sharp knife, and remove any pips along the way. Do this for all of the aforementioned citrus (yes, it's quite timeconsuming!), and combine in a mixing bowl, along with the pomegranate. Roughly chop the fresh herbs (quantities are up to you tastebuds!) and add to the citrus fruit, along with the finely chopped red onion. Mix well and season with salt, pepper, and plenty of sugar (I'd suggest at least a couple of tsp of sugar). Drizzle liberally with olive oil and set aside.

Clean and dry the seafood and prepare two frying pans: one for the fish, one for the scallops. The scallops will take far less time, so start with the fish: Ensure that it's thouroughly cleaned, and coat with the spice/rice flour mix all over. Heat some olive oil in a large non-stick pan (I normally use an electric frying pan for this, as it's the only thing big enough, but a barbeque would also probably work, as long as it's clean). Once the oil is hot (you can tell if it's hot enough when a little of the flour mixture sizzles immeidately when added. If the oil starts to smoke, it's way too hot) add the fish. Fry on that side for about 4-5 minutes, depending on how well-done you like it (like most things, I like it very rare) and how big the fish is. While it's frying, heat some more olive oil in another pan, and coat the scallops in the flour/spice mix. When you turn the fish, then add the scallops to their hot oil. The scallop oil needs to be a bit hotter than the fish oil was. Sear the scallops on each side for about 45 seconds to a minute, then remove and rest on kitchen paper. If the fish is not done yet, keep warm in the oven. With a bit of practise, you'll work out the timing to get them both out of the pan at the right time.

While the fish is cooking on it's second side, arrange the salad on a large platter, then place the fish on top, and scatter the scallops on and around the fish. Drizzle with olive oil and a bit of lemon juice, and let people serve themselves.

NB: For a more upmarket entree, fillet the snapper before coating in spice powder and frying. Scallops are optional. Plate the salad using a circle mould, place a couple of pieces of the fish on top, and drizzle a little basil-oil (chopped basil, salt and olive oil, mixed together) around the plate.

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